Good morning to everyone but especially to...
For the first time since 2007 -- when Stephen Curry was a little-known Davidson freshman and Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were high schoolers -- the Warriors trailed a playoff series 2-0. For far from the first time, the Warriors showed the resiliency and confidence of a champion -- which, of course, this current core is four times over.
Golden State crushed Sacramento, 114-97 -- despite -- and cut the Kings' series lead to 2-1. Curry poured in 36 points, including six 3-pointers. He also had one turnover after five in each of the first two games. The supporting cast stepped up crucially, too. Kevon Looney had one of the stranger stat lines you'll see -- an astonishing 20 rebounds (nine offensive), nine assists and four points -- and .
Looney wasn't the only one who had a great night:
- Andrew Wiggins had 20 points and seven rebounds and looked the best he has since returning from .
- Moses Moody added a playoff career-high 13 points off the bench.
- Perhaps most important, everyone was more careful with the basketball: The Kings had just seven points off turnovers after 41 across Games 1 and 2.
- Golden State also won the second-chance points battle, 24-12.
- Thursday's NHL winners: The Rangers, Maple Leafs, Avalanche and Golden Knights.
- Malcolm Brogdon .
- The Cardinals .
- Tyler Bass .
- Liam Hendriks .
And not such a good morning for...
After Kawhi Leonard dropped 38 points in a stunning Game 1 win, coach Tyronn Lue said, "That's what we've been saving up for," regarding Leonard's load management. Unfortunately for LA, you can't save up for everything, especially when it comes to health.
- Devin Booker was incredible again with 45 points. It's his , tying Charles Barkley for most in franchise history. Booker has scored 83 points in the last two games, most in Suns history over any two-game playoff span.
- Kevin Durant added 28 as all five Phoenix starters scored in double figures.
- For the Clippers, Norman Powell dropped 42 points and Russell Westbrook had 30 points and 11 assists.
Listen, Booker was excellent. I don't want to take away from that. The Clippers have plenty of high-level defenders beyond Leonard and the Paul George. Booker torched them all. This was an excellent game. I don't want to reduce it to one injury.
But it's hard not to feel for the Clippers and for Leonard, who Clippers president Lawrence Frank said was "extremely disappointed" to not play. Leonard didn't play at all last year, recovering from. In 2020, the Clippers collapsed in the bubble.
Seemingly ever since Leonard and George arrived in Los Angeles, the Clippers have been a big "what if" regarding their health. Thursday night, that rang true again.
Not so honorable mentions
- Max Scherzer .
- The Diamondbacks Madison Bumgarner for assignment.
- Drake's .
Two ejections, one Flagrant 1 that easily could have been another ejection and, most important for the 76ers, a 3-0 series lead.
Philadelphia's 102-97 win over the Nets truly had it all.
- Joel Embiid " Nicolas Claxton. After Claxton threw down an early dunk, he stepped over Embiid and stared him down. Given Green's , not ejecting Embiid was questionable at best. Claxton got a technical.
- Claxton later got his second technical -- after another dunk on Embiid -- and was ejected.
- He wasn't the only one ejected: James Harden got tossed on a flagrant 2 for hitting Royce O'Neale . It was another very questionable call... this time against the 76ers, who were stunned.
The 76ers avoided disaster, though, thanks to Tyrese Maxey. The third-year guard scored 10 straight for the 76ers late, and outscored Brooklyn by himself, 10-5, over the final 3:08. Philadelphia then got defensive stands with an Embiid block and a De'Anthony Melton steal-and-score to secure the win.
A timeline of the Athletics' demise in Oakland ⚾
Oakland is losing another sports team. The Athletics have. It won't be overnight, but the team intends to have a stadium ready for 2027.
However, theyand play at Las Vegas Ballpark, current home of their Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas Aviators. The lease on their current stadium, Oakland-Alameda Stadium, expires after the 2024 season. Afterwards, they could add a short-term renewal or even play games at the Giants' Oracle Park in San Francisco.
- The Athletics' efforts to get a new stadium in Oakland dated back to 2009, and
- The Athletics will be just the second MLB team to relocate in the last 50 years, joining the Montreal Expos, who became the Washington Nationals in 2005.
- This is nothing new for Oakland, though. In the past half-decade alone, Raiders moved to Oakland and the Warriors left for San Francisco's Chase Center.
This, of course, is a bummer for Oakland fans. The Athletics were once the beloved "moneyball" franchise that did more with less. But eventually "less" simply became too little. The Athletics are an MLB-worst 3-16 this season after going 60-102 last season and opened this season with an MLB-low $60-million payroll. Our R.J. Anderson has, and the recent teardown is wild:
- "March 2022: Once MLB's owner-imposed lockout is lifted, the A's go into firesale mode. Within a week, they trade away starting pitcher Chris Bassitt, first baseman Matt Olson, and third baseman Matt Chapman. They would later trade away starters Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas."
- "December 2022: Catcher Sean Murphy... is traded to the Atlanta Braves as part of a three-team deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. Oakland's portion of the trade is widely panned both inside and outside of the industry."
How Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia came to be 🥊
One of the most anticipated fights in recent memory is nearly here: Gervonta Davis faces Ryan Garcia in.
This fight has been years in the making, and our Brian Campbell has.
- Campbell: "The pursuit of legacy is the exact reason why both fighters ultimately said yes. It's a refreshing and old-school quality that many hope, should the fight live up to its expectations both commercially and in terms of excitement, leads to a ripple effect across the sport. ... 'I think it's really a testament to where my heart truly is,' Garcia said. 'There have been a lot of perceptions of who I am as a fighter or if I'm serious about it. I was tired of the misconception about myself. I said to myself, 'I will do everything I have to do to make this fight happen.''"
Our Brent Brookhouse, meanwhile, broke down.
- Brookhouse: "Davis has some of the best pound-for-pound power in the sport. In 28 professional bouts, Davis has only failed to knock out two men, and only one of those fights was a scheduled 12-rounder. ... He has knocked out men with both hands, with hooks, with straight shots and with brutal uppercuts. That kind of power is rare and it allows Davis to get away with some of his bigger flaws, though more on that later."
, including the elephant in the room: Could Davis-Garcia create a ripple effect across the sport?
What we're watching this weekend 📺
⚾ Dodgers at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. on MLB Network
⚾ Mets at Giants OR White Sox at Rays, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
⚾ Tigers at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. on FS1
⚾ Mets at Giants, 7 p.m. on ESPN